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The Sound of Silence

Nuraini Alston

May 2, 2019

If you rearrange the word silent, it spells listen.

That was the premise behind signing up to my second 10-day silent meditation retreat, or Vipassana.

Vipassana means to see things as they really are, and I wanted to see who I really was. So…who am I? For the most part, I feel like I have a pretty good sense of who I am, and who I’m not. I’m aware of the roles I have, my preferences and dislikes. But are these ideas of who I think I am simply just stories that I play out in familiar patterns?

Who am I?

When I became silent, I started to listen more deeply, and my mind and reactions became louder than ever. This time, I met parts of myself that weren’t so familiar to me. My shadow side, my darkness, my ego.

Grateful for the opportunity to learn more about myself, I endured what seemed like the longest 10 days of my life, sitting silently, patiently, in frustration. I’ve done this before, I thought, I know it’s worth it in the end. But my lesson is right here, now.

Listen.

I listened to the judgements, hypocrisies, and bored ramblings of my mind. I also listened to the chorus of birdsong in the morning, the sound of the breeze, and to the subtle flow of my breath. During meditation, I was at ease. When I was in nature, I was in awe. When I listened to my thoughts, I felt a sense of annoyance inside, and a disconnection to the beauty around me.

Okay, so don’t listen to everything. This is not me. These are only thoughts. As I began to create more space between me and my thoughts, I came to rest in this place of peaceful knowing, of this nature within. I realized that I didn’t come looking for answers. I’m not searching for anything. I came to remember the presence and awareness that is me, and is always there, if I can just turn down the noise of my mind and simply allow myself to listen. I already know who I am. I am nowhere, I am now-here. I am no one, I am now one. I am now home, and I am listening.

About

About the Author

Nuraini Alston

Nu is a beloved friend and yoga teacher of Suan Sati.

About Suan Sati

Suan Sati runs on-going meditation and yoga retreats in Chiang Mai, Thailand throughout the year. We welcome those who are new to yoga and meditation, and also to those who have an established practice and want to deepen their understanding. We offer guests the opportunity to come and join our family for a yoga retreat of a few days or a few weeks. We welcome those who are new to yoga and meditation, and also to those who have an established practice and want to deepen their understanding. We offer a range of all-inclusive meditation and yoga retreats in Thailand at an affordable price for those on a budget. Whether you’re new to meditation and yoga or a seasoned practitioner, we’ve got something for you. We also host our own 200 hour yoga teacher trainings in Chiang Mai multiple times per year.